WASHINGTON (8/13/10)--Rudy Hanley, president/CEO of SchoolsFirst FCU in Santa Ana, Calif., is the winner of the 2011 Herb Wegner Memorial Award for individual achievement.
The award will be one of three presented at the 23rd Annual Herb Wegner Awards Dinner hosted by the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) at the Grand Hyatt Washington on Feb. 28 during the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) 2011 Governmental Affairs Conference. Online registration for dinner tickets will be available later this year on the NCUF website. Hanley was born in Hungary and was 14 when his family fled the Soviet-occupied country in 1957. His family settled in Los Angeles, where Hanley and his brother spent six months learning English in a “foreign adjustment” program before attending public school. After high school, Hanley served for three years in the army before returning to California. Hanley earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of California-Irvine (UCI), and a law degree from Western State University College of Law. He supported his family, which by then included two daughters, by working at a supermarket at night while attending classes during the day. Hanley’s early career was teaching high school math, and being a tax and small business consultant. Joining the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) to develop a white paper to retain tax-exempt status for credit unions set him on his ultimate career path. “I decided the ‘people helping people’ philosophy on which credit unions are built was a perfect match for me,” said Hanley in an interview for the UCI alumni paper. After his CUNA experience, he returned to California, joining the California Credit Union League as head of the league’s Research and Information department, providing compliance and operational guidance to credit unions, before taking the helm of SchoolsFirst FCU, formerly Orange County Teachers FCU, in 1982. Today, SchoolsFirst FCU is the largest educational credit union and the fifth-largest credit union in the country. It has more than $8 billion in assets, serving nearly a half a million members in 33 branch locations. “Rudy Hanley has always embraced collaboration,” said Rae Miles, CEO, Open Financial Solutions (OFS). Hanley is a founding member of OFS, a research and development credit union service organization. He has chaired The Trust for Credit Unions--created for the purpose of safe and responsive investment choices for credit unions. He also has served on the boards of the California league, CUNA, CUNA Strategic Services, CUNA Mutual Group and the Consumer Federation of America. He is a founding member of the Filene Research Institute. Working with Santa Ana city officials, he organized the formation of Comunidad Latino FCU, Santa Ana, Calif. SchoolsFirst FCU has provided financial support and ongoing operational assistance and resources. “Rudy Hanley’s accomplishments place him at the pinnacle of the credit union community,” said Tom Dorety, president/CEO, Suncoast Schools FCU, Tampa, Fla. “The most impressive thing about Rudy is his integrity. Integrity means everything to Rudy, and he lives his life and runs SchoolsFirst accordingly. He is incredibly generous and humble to a fault.”